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Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice

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Where did musical minimalism come from—and what does it mean? In this significant revisionist account of minimalist music, Robert Fink connects repetitive music to the postwar evolution of an American mass consumer society. Abandoning the ingrained formalism of minimalist aesthetics, Repeating Ourselves considers the cultural significance of American repetitive music exemp Where did musical minimalism come from—and what does it mean? In this significant revisionist account of minimalist music, Robert Fink connects repetitive music to the postwar evolution of an American mass consumer society. Abandoning the ingrained formalism of minimalist aesthetics, Repeating Ourselves considers the cultural significance of American repetitive music exemplified by composers such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. Fink juxtaposes repetitive minimal music with 1970s disco; assesses it in relation to the selling structure of mass-media advertising campaigns; traces it back to the innovations in hi-fi technology that turned baroque concertos into ambient "easy listening"; and appraises its meditative kinship to the spiritual path of musical mastery offered by Japan's Suzuki Method of Talent Education.


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Where did musical minimalism come from—and what does it mean? In this significant revisionist account of minimalist music, Robert Fink connects repetitive music to the postwar evolution of an American mass consumer society. Abandoning the ingrained formalism of minimalist aesthetics, Repeating Ourselves considers the cultural significance of American repetitive music exemp Where did musical minimalism come from—and what does it mean? In this significant revisionist account of minimalist music, Robert Fink connects repetitive music to the postwar evolution of an American mass consumer society. Abandoning the ingrained formalism of minimalist aesthetics, Repeating Ourselves considers the cultural significance of American repetitive music exemplified by composers such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. Fink juxtaposes repetitive minimal music with 1970s disco; assesses it in relation to the selling structure of mass-media advertising campaigns; traces it back to the innovations in hi-fi technology that turned baroque concertos into ambient "easy listening"; and appraises its meditative kinship to the spiritual path of musical mastery offered by Japan's Suzuki Method of Talent Education.

30 review for Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Fink's book was endlessly fascinating, and made me think about minimal music in a way I never had before. (It also made me listen to all 17 minutes of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby", but that's a different story.) Clearly taking cues from Greil Marcus' brilliant Lipstick Traces, Fink explores the relationships between minimalist music, mass-produced consumer culture, 70s disco, advertising, and the Suzuki method of violin pedagogy. Especially interesting is Fink's discussion of the rise Fink's book was endlessly fascinating, and made me think about minimal music in a way I never had before. (It also made me listen to all 17 minutes of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby", but that's a different story.) Clearly taking cues from Greil Marcus' brilliant Lipstick Traces, Fink explores the relationships between minimalist music, mass-produced consumer culture, 70s disco, advertising, and the Suzuki method of violin pedagogy. Especially interesting is Fink's discussion of the rise of the LP and hi-fi, the culture of repetitive listening it engendered, and how that fed into the development of minimalism. Fink is emphatically not demonizing minimalism - on the contrary, he is offering a compelling perspective on minimalism as both an outgrowth of and response to the repetitive media overload of postwar American culture. Minimalism can be a powerful way of reinterpreting and re-experiencing that culture.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mauro

    Allusion to South Park's parody of Philip Glass in preface? Check. Allusion to South Park's parody of Philip Glass in preface? Check.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Lubkowski

    Two of my favorite kinds of discourse together in one book: music analysis and critique of consumer society.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Ridener

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiny Pants

  7. 5 out of 5

    Clifford Mattis

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    Andrew Uroskie

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    Alia Levar Wegner

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    Dave

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hugh

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    Stephanie VanderWel

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laatmuth

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Dell'Antonio

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theodora

  16. 4 out of 5

    Micah Crochet

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phil Ford

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    Hannah

  19. 5 out of 5

    Madeline Sall

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    Mark Lomanno

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    Matt Orenstein

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    Robert H.

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    Nick Starr

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    Michael

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    Edwin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rudolfs

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nolan Vallier

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    Xavier De

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  30. 5 out of 5

    Herb

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